Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time in a Bottle

Five days after beginning this post, I'm finally taking a moment to log in and try and finish it. As I write, I am surrounded by a mountain of wrapping paper and knotted up ribbon. For not even being done with my shopping, I am seem to find myself with a seemingly endless amount of stuff I've collected to give to people. I've already spent hours wrapping, and the pile isn't shrinking!! I used the morning to bake cookies to try and have for Christmas day when the family is here and have enough for the staff at Mom's nursing home. As I was baking, I fielded two phone calls from said staff telling me Mother wants to write me out of her will and is on a hunger strike because I didn't take her Christmas shopping yesterday (I spent it at the vet trying to figure out what is wrong with one of my dogs. A few hours and several hundred dollars later, we're still not completely sure, but she's sleeping peacefully beside me stoned on pain medication, so for now anyway, she's having a happy holiday). Now I'll spend the balance of the day trying to convert the mountain of miscellaneous stuff into a mountain of wrapped miscellaneous stuff without feeling horribly guilty about what I'm doing to the environment with all that wrapping paper and ribbon and eventually have to gut it up to go deal with Mother. My back hurts, my head hurts and my football team sucks on an unprecedented level and my own Mother routinely hates me. Even if Kelsey were here with us, I might be nominating this as the worst holiday season ever, with last year being in the running and probably edging this one out by a red reindeer nose. Of course, this one now wins hands down. The bottom line to all of this is: the rest of life doesn't stop when the holidays come around, bringing with them all the extra little tasks, errands and parties. It amazes me that any adult finds this time of year enjoyable. And, once again, the actual reason for the season gets trampled in all American greed and excess. But, I know that people do actually enjoy the season. Maybe I'm wired wrong, I don't know. But, I really don't have any more time to think about it, there are presents to wrap and a football season to mourn. Anyway, this is what I wrote starting last Tuesday:

I'm just getting home from a memorial service the funeral home held for their clients. I picked Greg's mom up and brought her back home in fog thick enough to cut with a knife, spending probably twice as long on the road as we did at the service. But, it was a nice affair and, as emotional as it was, I was glad I went. However, here I sit, another evening mostly gone when I should have been here working on getting my holiday cards out. And there are gifts to wrap, and some of them need to get in the mail. Then on Friday I have to come up with a dessert to take to a dinner at Mother's nursing home. I have my own food issues (I get kind of queasy around cafeteria style food), so this feels me with total dread, nonetheless, I have to do it. And this brings me to my second night of anti-holiday rant. Think of this as my own Christmas Carol and last night we were visited by the Ghost of Greed. Tonight we are traveling with the Ghost of Time Constraints.

The holidays bring with them a lot of extra errands, tasks and mandatory social situations. Add that to the normal time drain of football season and the award season movies coming out, and time management becomes a high walk across a very tight rope. And it's just all piled on to all the normal stuff that we have to do everyday. I don't know about the rest of you, but I haven't had a moment where I thought to myself, "Wow, I'm bored." in I don't know how long. I would actually like a moment like that. I would probably use it to sleep. I don't have time to shop for gifts, let alone wrap them without something else falling by the wayside. Then I have to rearrange the whole house to put up the holiday decorations, only to face another arduous day to put them all away. And we're supposed to experience comfort and joy this time of year? Who the heck has time?

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